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gsilver
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23 Mar 2008, 11:37 pm

...not caring what other people think about you?


Recently, I've taken the stance that I should let other people try to become friends with me.

I'll engage in chit-chat when appropriate, and I go to some social events that interest me (like board games, hiking, and a dinner group), and no longer do I actively try, or even hope, to become friends with other people.

To my astonishment, I'm finding that certain people are acting friendlier towards me than I have ever experienced in my entire life, and I mean ever. Sometimes I wonder if it's sarcasm when they give me compliments (since I am not accustomed to receiving compliments in any shape or form), but it's been long enough and the interactions have persisted long enough for me to start to believe that it's genuine.

One of my roommates compliments my choices in lifestyle (since I cook and grill a lot, and own a motorcycle), and one of my coworkers compliments things like the motorcycle, and some job-related things. With both people, they seem to like having me around, but I don't even ask for things like hanging out with them, unless they try to initiate it first. Even then, I'll decline unless it fits my schedule, which I'm learning to not compromise.

It's by no means universal, though. Another roommate (one who acted openly friendly at first) now doesn't even acknowledge my existence. He won't even respond when I say "hello", much less engage in conversation. But, unlike even just one year ago, I no longer care. I have accepted that some people will hate me, no matter what I do and there is nothing I can do to change their minds, thus, why bother? In individual interactions, it makes things easier since I don't need to worry about who proving myself to them. It's fine if some people hate me. As a general rule, people hate other people, except the group that they call their friends. It's a fact of life, and accepting this fact seems to make people, as a whole, much more accepting.

Since I'm not worrying about what other people think, I'm finding life much more fulfilling. I've accepted that the vast majority of time is spent in isolation, and by not caring what people think about me, hobbies are getting a greater and less-distracted focus. I go hiking every weekend, on my own accord. After hearing that I like to hike in random conversation, I've been invited by two people (one from the board game group, to another hiking group, and another from the dinner group) to participate in their own hikes. Again, invitations like that have never occurred before I took this stance (in the past, I would be the one trying to arrange times to hang out, and would be consistently rebuffed).

It's really strange, but it seems to be true.



Dracula
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24 Mar 2008, 12:03 am

This is what being an Alpha Male is all about... being a leader by existing on your own plain.

- D



Alerion42
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24 Mar 2008, 6:05 am

I took this stance, about half way through my junior year in high school and, the last year and a half of high school, was absolutly wonderful! (aside from my grades which were just as bad) This lasted until my school life ended (I dropped out of two different colleges as I couldn't handle the workload) and my social life was geared around work. For some reason, in a work setting, I have a harder time with social interaction, possibly because of age or who has superiority like a manager who's younger, or an older person who I'm training. My social constructs breakdown, and I revert back to my pre-junior year social behavior.

But reading your post has inspired me to once again not worry about what others think of me. I think if I take age and speriority in to consideration and only let those matter in work related social interactions, I should be able to handle things better.

But hey, congrats on learning the secret and having a great time! Hope your social life continues to flourish.



Brittany2907
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24 Mar 2008, 6:47 am

Not caring what others think about you CAN make you happy...but in can also make a person wreckless in their actions.
I believe that you should take what people say about you into consideration and if it seems liable, then choose to accept it. I also believe that if someone who you don't like/care for, or someone you've never met says something bad about you, you should forget it as they obviously are making irrational judgements if they don't know you well.

The one true key to happiness, though, has nothing to do with what others thinking of you. I believe that true happiness is no more than what you make of it...how good or how bad it may be, you'll always be right.


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pinkbowtiepumps
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24 Mar 2008, 11:55 am

I really like your attitude about things. I've just been realizing this myself over the past few months, and it's true, I've never been happier. I won't go too out of my way to be nice to people, I'll just help them if they ask for help, listen to people, just generally be there for them. I'll ignore them if they have anything nasty to say. With some nasty things, I will consider it only if I think it's a real problem. If you have no idea where the nasty person is coming from, then you can probably ignore it.